Century: Eastern Wonders makes cardboard spice trading fun again

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Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

In 2017, newly founded tabletop studio Plan B Games released Century: Spice Road. A tight, brain-teasing card game, Spice Road cast players as merchants trading spices on the overland route between Europe and Asia, and it combined the mechanical minimalism of hit gem-trading game Splendor with just a hint of Dominion-style deckbuilding.

(credit: Plan B Games)

What was intriguing to many fans, though, was that Spice Road was just the first installment in a planned trilogy. Players would be able to combine it with the future games in the series, mixing them to create a variety of gameplay experiences. Now the second release in the lineup has arrived in the form of Century: Eastern Wonders. But is it a rewarding game in its own right? An engaging add-on to an established hit? Or, is it just a gimmick that sounds great in theory—but doesn’t hold up once it hits the table?

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